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    Autism Influencers: Who to Follow

    Topics: Autism Technology, First Person Autism, Global Autism Awareness, Elementary (4-12), Teen (13-17), Young Adult (18-21), Parents, Adult (22+)

    Interested in connecting with people in the autism community? 

    Check out our list of influencers to follow on social media.

    Social Media  is a powerful tool in the way it allows us to connect with friends and family, celebrities, and strangers with common interests from around the globe. Different social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok hold communities of people who connect over similar experiences and journeys. Influencers are popular social media personalities who have a large following. Whether you’re a parent of an autistic child,* an educator or therapist, or you have autism yourself, here is a list of influencers to follow, connect with, and learn more about their experiences with autism.

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    10 First-Hand Accounts

    First person accounts are important in understanding the lived experiences of autistic individuals. Is your child looking to connect with others who share similar experiences? Here is a list of 10 influencers diagnosed with autism to check out. 

    The hashtag #ActuallyAutistic was made by creators and influencers with autism. A simple search of this tag will turn up a collection of pictures, art, music, writing, and more created by people who are #ActuallyAutistic.

    Chris Bonnello (@autisticnotweird)

    Chris Bonnello is an international speaker, special education tutor, and  author. He didn’t receive an autism diagnosis until he was 25 years old. When he did, Chris was inspired to publish his first book, “What We Love Most About Life,” a collection of responses from 150 kids with autism. He went on to publish “Underdogs,” a series about war heroes with autism. You can follow Chris Bonnello’s adventures and tips for working with children with autism on his blog, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube at @autisticnotweird and on Twitter at @autisticNW.

    Joy Johnson (@joyfjohnson)

    Joy Johnson is a Behavior Analyst, Inclusion Specialist, Autism Advocate and PhD student. Having autism herself, Joy explores current autism research and advocates for autistic voices to be heard in research through her blog (joyfjohnson.com) and Instagram (@joyfjohnson). Follow Joy as she discusses behavior management techniques, inclusion practices, and how to become the best advocate possible. 

    Jerimiah Josey (@jercookingadventure)

    At only 21 years old, Jeremiah Josey is a baker, model, author, and inspirational speaker. Jeremiah’s passion is being a pastry chef, and he captures his cooking creations on his YouTube show, “Jeremiah's Cooking Adventures.” He also wrote a book titled, “Here’s What I Want You To Know” about his personal experiences being on the spectrum. An advocate for people with autism and inspirational speaker, Jerimiah also modeled for Kohl’s adaptive clothing line. You can follow Jerimiah’s sweet adventures on Instagram or YouTube @jercookingadventure.

    Leeann Libas (@callmemisslibas)

    Leeanne Libas is a disability rights advocate and blogger for The Art of Autism (the-art-of-autism.com). She’s a college student, makeup guru, and blogs about topics such as ableism, leadership, and her experiences having autism. You can follow her positive, encouraging stories on Instagram @callmemisslibas or check out her posts at https://the-art-of-autism.com/tag/leanne-libas/.

    Taylor Linloff (@aspirationalautistic) 

    Taylor Linloff is a 25 year old blogger from Nova Scotia. Her passion project, “Aspirational Autistic,” explores her experiences being on the spectrum and debunks popular autism myths and misconceptions. You can follow Taylor’s stories and engage with her discussion posts on her blog aspirationalautistic.wordpress.com or on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter @aspirationalautistic.

    Paige Layle (@paigelayle)

    Paige found popularity on TikTok where she posted videos about being an eyelash technician, having autism, and misconceptions about what autism “looks like.” Paige wasn’t diagnosed until she was a teenager and often discusses late diagnoses of autism in girls and misconceptions about girls with autism. If you’re interested in talking all things autism and beauty, you can follow Layle on TikTok and Instagram @paigelayle. 

    21 and Sensory (@21andsesnsory) 

    Emily is a graphic designer, illustrator, and has autism. She uses her background in art to create infographics, memes, and illustrations for people with autism. Her doodles “discuss daily life as a sensory-being” and she creates survival guides for people with autism dealing with holidays, mental health, coping strategies, and her favorite fidget products. You can follow Emily’s fun, informational art on Instagram @21andsensory.

    James Sinclair (@autisticandunapologetic)

    James is creator of the Autistic & Unapologetic blog where he documents his journey to find out what makes him (autis)tic. James documents the Top 5 Pieces of Autism News around the world each month, explores portrayals of autism in popular media, and includes personal reflections and offers advice to family members of individuals with autism. You can read James’ posts at autisticandunapologetic.com, check out his Autistic & Unapologetic Facebook page, or follow him on Twitter @AutismRevised.

    Spaced Out and Smiling (@spacedoutsmiles) 

    Jamie Knight works for the BBC as a senior accessibility specialist. His blog, “Spaced Out and Smiling” explores “the fun side of Autism, and trying to understand what it means to be Autistically Happy.” Jamie recently transitioned to living independently and documents his experience doing so. On his blog, you can follow his Reviews, Techniques, and Writing, where he shares his favorite places to visit, independently managing a house, and his “Nerdy” tech favorites. You can follow Jamie’s blog at spacedoutandsmiling.com or on Twitter @spacedoutsmiles. 

    Larkin Taylor-Parker (Autistic Future: A Future of Our Own)

    Larkin Taylor-Parker is a lawyer and disability rights advocate. He calls himself a “neurodiversity blogger,” exploring the various lived experiences of people with disabilities, disability rights, and disability justice. He writes, “The truth is that there are a lot of disability communities with different needs and concerns. The one thing I feel fairly comfortable saying is almost all of us want ownership of our own lives, futures of our own.” Larkin’s commentary on current events relating to disability communities can be read on his blog at autisticfuture.com.

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    10 Parent Influencers Who Have Autistic Children
    The Autism Cafe (@theautismcafe)

    Eileen Lamb, founder of the Autism Cafe, is not only mother to a child with autism, but is diagnosed with autism herself. She is a published author, photographer, and autism advocate. Her artistic photographs capture the essence of family, love, and acceptance. Her thought-provoking blog posts aim to decrease stigma around autism. Eileen and her family can be followed at their blog, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube @theautismcafe. 

    Stories About Autism (@storiesaboutautism) 

    James is father to two young, non-verbal boys with autism. He never knew much about autism until his oldest son was diagnosed at nine months old. Since then, James has been on a mission to learn about autism and connect with others “to help me become the best parent I can be.” He often interviews other people that are part of the autism community and creates an informational and hopeful virtual world. James and his sons can be followed on storiesaboutautism.com or on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @storiesaboutautism.

    Finding Cooper’s Voice (@findingcoopersvoice)

    Kate is mom to three boys. Her oldest, Cooper, has autism, and is described as a “train loving, joyful, nonverbal, amazing little boy.” Kate created a blog as a means for parents, teachers, therapists, grandparents, and caregivers “to find support, encouragement, and a safe space to vent.” Her posts explore the real, the funny, and the creative aspects of parenting a child with special needs. Cooper and his family can be followed on their blog (findingcoopersvoice.com), Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

    The Autism Dad (@theautismdad)

    Rob Groski is The Autism Dad. A single father to three boys with Autism, Rob invites his followers to connect with his real-life stories of navigating autism, and physical and emotional health issues. Rob’s blog is emotional, honest, and transparent. His goal is to show other families that they are not alone. The Autism Dad can be followed on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube @theautismdad. 

    The Mom Kind (@themomkind)

    Alicia is a mom of three children with autism. Her blog (themomkind.com) documents personal accounts of parenting children on the spectrum and offers a collection of resources on parenting, learning about autism, and additional special needs (ADHD, anxiety, sleep disorders, etc.). The Mom Kind, “Autism Parenting for the Modern Parent,” can be followed at her blog, Facebook, Twitter or on Instagram @themomkind. 

    Fathering Autism (fatheringautism1)

    Follow the Maass family in their everyday routines, travels, and fun. Asa Maass is the father of Abbie, a teen with autism. Asa’s goal through his family-friendly video blogs, or “vlogs,” is to “increase awareness, acceptance, and make the world a softer place to land for our daughter and people like her on the autism spectrum.” The Maass family creates content that is both entertaining and informational. Follow their adventures on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @fatheringautism1. 

    Autism with a Side of Fries (@AutismWithASideOfFries) (@FrenchFryInc).

    Eileen “Mama Fry” Shaklee is “living, loving, and laughing with autism.” Her social media accounts follow the trials and tribulations of parenting a teen with autism- navigating social situations, the dentist, chores, and more. Mama Fry looks at everything with humor, and reminds readers that everything is better with a side of fries. Her adventures can be followed at autismwithasideoffries.blogspot.com, on Instagram @autismwithasideoffries, and on Twitter @FrenchFryInc.

    http://autismwithasideoffries.blogspot.com 

    Rainbows Are Too Beautiful (@rainbowsaretoobeautiful) (@rainbowsaretoo)   

    Ann, author of RainbowsAreTooBeautiful.com, is a mother of three children. She has experience in autism, ADHD, hypermobility, sensory processing disorder, dyspraxia, anxiety, and sleep issues. She is a full time mother, works part time in education, and as a charity trustee. The goal of her blog is to “promote understanding, discuss important issues, and provide helpful information and support to those who visit.” Through her own adventures with her children, Ann offers reviews, resources, and activities that have worked for her family. Her contact information is available on all of her social media accounts and she looks forward to connecting with other families with children with autism. Check out Ann on her blog, twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @rainbowsaretoobeautiful. 

    Velcro Shoes (velcro-shoes.com)

    Alli Baldocchi is mother to three boys, one on the autism spectrum. Her blog documents her journey through life as a mother, wife, and career woman. Her stories are heartfelt and explore the balancing act of life. Alli promotes learning through experience, and invites other moms and “warriors,” or children with autism to share what they have learned about autism through their own experiences on her blog. 

    FaithMummy (faithmummy.wordpress.com)

    Miriams’s twins were born after a 10 year long struggle with infertility and IVF treatments. Her twins are diagnosed with autism, severe learning difficulties, global developmental delays, pica, and selective mutism. Her blog, faithmummy.wordpress.com, discusses parenting children with autism through a faith-based and hopeful lens. Her stories promote kindness and acceptance. Enjoy following Miriams’s family at faithmummy.wordpress.com. 

    Finding online resources and connecting with people that share experiences similar to your own is a powerful tool. Being part of an online community is a way to share information, news, resources, and seek advice. Happy connecting!

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    New to Facebook? 5 Steps to Get You Started

    1. Go to facebook.com/pages/create.
    2. Click to choose a Page type (Personal).
    3. Fill out the required information. 
    4. Click “Create Page.”
    5. Use the “Search” feature to find family, friends, and influencers to follow.

     

     

     

     

     

    New to Instagram? 5 Steps to Get You Started

    1. On your iPhone or Android, download the “Instagram” app from the App Store or Google Play Store. (You can also use a computer)
    2. Once it is downloaded, tap the icon to open the app.
    3. “Create a New Account” with your email address or phone number. 
    4. Create a username and password. 
    5. Use the “Search” feature to find family, friends, and influencers to follow.

    New to Twitter? 5 Steps to Get You Started

    1. Go to Twitter.com.
    2. Choose “Sign Up.”
    3. Enter your name, phone number or email, and date of birth.
    4. Create a username and password.
    5. Use the “Search” feature to find family, friends, and influencers to follow.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This article was based on the following research and online resources:

    https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/14-actually-autistic-influencers-instagram-153201148.html 

    https://www.zenaviv.com/blog/2019/3/7/7-autism-influencers-redefining-perception-of-autism 

    https://studybreaks.com/tvfilm/autistic-influencers/ 

    https://www.assistiveware.com/blog/5-favorite-autistic-bloggers 

    https://www.everydayhealth.com/autism/living-with/best-autism-aspergers-blogs-make-you-reconsider-everything-you-think-you-know-about-condition/ 

    https://www.actionbehavior.com/top-autism-blogs-2020/ 

    https://bluesprigautism.com/top-10-autism-blogs-of-2020/ 

    https://www.actionbehavior.com/top-40-autism-blogs-2019/

    Chloe Fay

    Written by Chloe Fay

    Chloe Fay has a B.A. in Special Education in Special Education: ModerateDisabilities and Child, Youth, and Family Services and is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Special Education: Severe Disabilities.